ITV secures Royal Variety Performance rights

Image caption, Take That performed at last year's Royal Variety Performance, which was screened on BBC One

ITV has won the rights to broadcast the Royal Variety Performance for the next 10 years, it has been announced.

Production of the event has been shared between the BBC and ITV, with its main channels broadcasting the event on alternate years since 1986.

ITV will now show it exclusively through to 2021, with ITV Studios producing the coverage.

The two most recent shows, shown on BBC One and ITV1, attracted audiences of 8.9m and 9.6m viewers respectively.

ITV won the rights from the Entertainment Artistes' Benevolent Fund (EABF), which benefits from the annual fundraising event.

"We can look forward to the future with renewed confidence and financial security for the next 10 years," said Laurie Mansfield, the EABF's honorary life president.

The deal also deepens the relationship the EABF has with ITV, which currently provides the winner of Britain's Got Talent to the event each year.

ITV Studios managing director Kevin Lygo said: "It's an honour for ITV Studios to produce coverage of one of the most prestigious television events of the year.

"We are thrilled to be part of the long tradition of celebrating the very best of the entertainment industry."

The EABF is a charity which cares for entertainers throughout the UK who need help and assistance as a result of old age, ill-health or hard times.

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